You can hardly imagine that such huge groups are in such a state. And yet this is the reality today, at a time when we can no longer function without information technology, there are companies that are still led by administrators who regard technology as a non-strategic part of business operations.
There is unfortunately no exception, in most organizations we come across we find managers and administrators who regard (information) technology as something that simply has to work and that shouldn’t bother you. Technology that they regard as a facility part of business operations and is often placed with the boss who deals with money and resources and thus turns into a manageable cost item.
Nobody in management thinks about the usefulness and necessity of technology from a strategic perspective. Often they are drivers of my generation and they did not grow up with computers, the internet and smartphones. In the meantime, they can work with Outlook and Office at work, as consumers they may use Facebook, LinkedIn and occasionally order something via Bol.com. But the realization that information technology forms an important foundation of the organization and can lead to a competitive edge, is something that doesn’t concern many people and is not on the MT management agenda. The use of the it roadmap template happens to be quite important here.
The barrier of language and knowledge
A discussion in the boardroom rooms about technology usually sticks to the efforts of the IT department, and then it is mainly about the costs that are needed to keep up or to catch up. Most IT managers more often have conversations with management about their smartphones and the required upgrade to a new version of Windows than about the strategic implications of information technology. The management does not understand anything about IT, and the IT manager does not understand the strategy of the company enough and acts from a limited perspective.
They are not talking to each other because they do not speak each other’s language. We know how difficult it is to communicate with someone when you do not speak their language well. If you understand the foreign language somewhat because you have followed a course in it, you can have a conversation, but a strategic in-depth conversation requires more than one course. It starts with the realization that the conversation partner can bring highly relevant knowledge that is of great value. But if you do not recognize that that knowledge adds something and therefore does not recognize the value, then there is simply no interest.
We are reminded of Kolb’s learning cycle, which starts with someone who is unknowingly unable. Only when it realizes that something is wrong and what needs to be done is the transformation to consciously rendered incapable. Then it’s time for action and it comes to learning and insight. To then consciously and competently give substance to what you understand. Until the previously absent and not denied knowledge and skills have settled into your capillaries and you have become unknowingly competent. This cycle applies to people, but also to teams and organizations. So there is hope!